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Weekend in the city with BF- dinner/ brunch recs

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Hello fellow Chowhounders,

I'm organizing a day/night in the city with best friend whom I don't get to see much. We've decided on lunch at Frank on Saturday, then a visit to AGO. The short list for dinner is Lucien, Mistura or Nota Bene. Any thoughts? We want great food and wine in a setting that will allow us to get caught up on life ie. not a place where we are jammed tight into another table. We can't decide on where to go for brunch on Sunday; The King Eddy or Four Seasons come to mind as we'd like a traditional brunch- carvery etc.
Ideas and suggestions gratefully received.

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  1. ALL of Lucien, Mistura and Nota Bene jam you in on a Saturday night - a little more room at Nota Bene, but still tight.
    I'd rank Lucien the worst - especially if you're seated near the bar - I've even had bar patrons there put their drink on my dining table. Never went back!

    For brunch had OK time at King Eddie (but carvery isn't typically my thing). Last time I went to Four Seasons it was at Truffles - which has now closed.

    7 Replies
    1. re: estufarian

      Is there any where else you'd recommend that will give us great food and wine but is conducive to chatting? As we're both rural out- of -towners we'd like it to be a special downtown experience. Last time I had brunch at the Four Seasons it was also at Truffles- loved it.

      1. re: Countygal

        Caren's Wine Bar in Yorkville is a great, cozy spot with good food and wine. It's not as high end as the other places on your list, but would be lovely for two friends to hang out and catch up. And it's right in uber-chic Yorkville, so afterwards you could wander a little bit and be amused by the men in their Porches and Ferraris with their incredibly high maintenance dates. After you've gotten your fill of that, walk to the nearby Park Hyatt hotel and go to the rooftop lounge (don't worry, not outdoors) for an expensive, but well made cocktail and enjoy the view of the city or chat up the bartender and get some great stories about the celebrities he's served over the years.

        The King Eddie hotel brunch will be good for what you're looking for -- big Sunday brunch buffet with the carving stations and all the fixings.

        If you really want dinner to be more upscale, maybe Opus would fit the bill. I haven't been in many years, so don't know what it's like now. Maybe someone else to chime in on it?

        1. re: TorontoJo

          Hi TorontoJo! What's at the King Eddie brunch? I've heard there's lobster, even .. OH, and how much was it?

        2. re: Countygal

          Don't rule out Nota Bene it's still good - but a very large room.
          Depending on how 'upscale' you want to go, at the upper end there's both Splendido and C5. The latter is a huge room, but if you get a table round the edges, the design means you're fairly private (and the south view is excellent).
          More in line with the prices at Mistura (say - which I'd ignore as the tables for two are along a corridor leading to the kitchen) there's Globe Bistro (more private seating is upstairs - downstairs it's a bit less 'private' or its newer sibling Earth. Both have good wine lists and the food is very acceptable - at a fair price.

          1. re: estufarian

            I second C5 great space fab food unique TO experience Enter from Bloor St take resto private elevator to 2nd flr ..... Intercontinental Hotel also on Bloor a block West has excellent weekend Brunch in a lovely space Bon Appetit Miranda

            1. re: miranda

              I'm headed to C5 in the next couple of weeks for a Sunday brunch. Does anyone have any specific dish recommendations? I have read really mixed reviews about C5 and am not sure what to expect from the brunch menu. Brunch is not my favourite meal. My idea of brunch is pho or dim-sum. I'm not a lover of pancakes, French toast, bacon and eggs and the like. I tend to order items like Nicoise salad, oysters or smoked salmon and garnishes, rather than eggs benny or crepes. Any advice for C5's menu?

              1. re: 1sweetpea

                I haven't been there for Brunch.